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Purpose: We report the long-term effect of rituximab (RTX) in scleritis and determine the value of B-cell monitoring for the prediction of relapses. Methods: We retrospectively studied 10 patients with scleritis, who were treated with RTX. Clinical characteristics were collected, and blood B-cell counts were measured before the start of RTX, and at various time points after treatment. Results: Clinical activity of scleritis decreased after RTX treatment in all patients within a median time of 8 weeks (range 3–13), and all reached remission. The median follow-up was 101 months (range 9–138). Relapses occurred in 6 out of 10 patients. All relapses, where B-cell counts were measured (11 out of 19), were heralded by returning B cells. However, B cells also returned in patients with long-term remissions. Conclusions: RTX is a promising therapeutic option for scleritis. Recurrence of B cells after initial depletion does not always predict relapse of scleritis.
van Bilsen, K., Vergouwen, D. P. C., van Velthoven, M. E. J., Missotten, T. O. A. R., Rombach, S. M., van Zelm, M. C., … van Laar, J. A. M. (2023). Long-Term Follow-Up of Patients with Scleritis After Rituximab Treatment Including B Cell Monitoring. Ocular Immunology and Inflammation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09273948.2023.2229900